Libya follows up on forsaken WMD

Dec. 20, 2003 at 9:56 PM

VIENNA, Dec. 20 (UPI) -- Libya acted quickly Saturday to prove it really is abandoning efforts to build any weapons of mass destruction, arranging for international inspections.

Libya sent its chief of scientific research to Vienna to meet with Mohammed ElBaradei to clear the way for IAEA inspections of nuclear installations.

Libya said is it also abandoning its chemical and bio-weapons capabilities.

The surprise announcement Friday came after nine months of secret talks between Libyan leader Col. Moammar Gadhafi and officials from the United States and Britain, the Voice of America reported.

Libya said it originated the talks, voluntarily deciding to renounce the potential use and development of the weapons after becoming persuaded that divisions among Arab countries made its isolation and the cost of maintaining the arsenal too high a price to pay.

Gadhafi said he hopes two decades of isolation can be ended, along with U.S. sanctions, so the country's oil riches can be developed by outside firms.

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